Saturday, December 04, 2010

Late Friday Night at Tate Britain

Little brother's new job at Tate Britain entitles him and guests to free entry to the exhibitions one normally has to pay for so on Friday night (yesterday) the Turner Prize shortlist as well as the historic Eadweard Muybridge exhibits beckoned.

However on arrival it was fantastic to see how the Tate had been transformed for the night from a quasi conventual 'art' gallery to a cross between a night club for beautiful people (mainly in their 20s and 30s) and a son et lumiere show. A night club type bar was in full swing in the central Octagon with dozens of young people partaking of the wine in an atmosphere of dazzling purple lights, live music and general hubub.

Heavy metal-type sounds were spilling out into the Octagon from the rock group playing in the adjacent darkened Pre-Raphaelite display room. The juxtaposition of the band playing in the room lit only by lurid purpples and greens under the romantic paintings by Rosseti amd Millais was so unusual that my train of thought hicupped. Whatever the artisic merit of all this there is no doubt that such shift in the Tate's character for the night attracted many more young people than are usually to be seen in its art galleries which must be good for art appreciation if not art.

On to the Turner Prize:
I loved the almost mornful solo singing voice of Susan Philipsz - She was (I think!) singing "Lowlands" in several different ways and through a myriad of speakers. Mrs maytrees, little brother and sister in law thought it a little too sad sounding but to me the resonance was spot on.

However my fav. for the Prize (due to be announced on Monday apparently)
are Dexter Dalwood's paintings which remind me of summer holidays and Tate St Ives. Having said that I did not like his depiction/interpretation of the Death of David Kelly. Artists are of course entitled to use their work to make political points but the conspiracy theory relating to poor Mr Kelly's death has in my view anyway, been debunked. The previously secret papers having now been published the cause of his death pronounced at the time seems to have been accurate. I agree however that lies were probably being told then to us people by politicians about the Iraq war but that is another story.

Finally Eadweard Muybridge:
By his art he virtually invented cinema. His panoramic photos of C19 San Francisco must have taken him hours to achieve especially in the light of what we would now regard as the primitive technology available to him at the time. The end product photographs display Victorian San Francisco by sea on land and covers much of its interesting architecture so much so that despite the destruction wrecked by ensuing earthquakes I am tempted to visit.

Mr Muybridge is perhaps better known for his moving images of galloping horses and of humans in motion including presumably controversially at the time, those of an unclothed man and woman.

We all also enjoyed a Pizza in the Millbank Tower (no signs of recent student demo there remain) before going to the next door Tate Britain yesterday night.

1 comment:

  1. The "almost mornful solo singing voice of Susan Philipsz" has it then - well done and congratulations to her.


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